The purpose of this program is to develop and enhance research opportunities for postdoctoral fellows training for careers in the field of human stem cell biology. Our goals are to develop a curriculum of study and research experiences necessary to provide high quality research training and to ensure a continuing supply of well-trained scientists prepared to conduct cutting-edge health-related research in human embryonic stem cell biology. A deep understanding of the biology of human embryonic stem cells is essential for utilizing them successfully to develop new therapies for human diseases. To this end we offer a full range of multi-disciplinary training activities that range from the study of basic principles of stem cell biology, encompassing genetic, biochemical, and cellular approaches, to theoretical and practical aspects of stem cell related emerging technologies, to ethical, legal, and social issues involved with stem cell research, to colloquiums, lectures and seminars, with the ultimate goal of providing a well rounded training experience in the field of human embryonic stem cell biology.
Our current program has supported a total of 17 postdoctoral trainees to date. The strength and quality of our commitment to research training has manifested in the success and impact of our trainees who have departed the program and moved on to independent positions. The training program has been able to provide high quality research training and ensure a continuing supply of well-trained scientists prepared to conduct cutting-edge health-related research in human embryonic stem cell biology. A key benefit derived from this program is the training of new scientists to serve as educators and researchers for the future, many in the burgeoning area of stem cell biology for which the State of California has emerged as a world leader. As a result of their research activities, we expect the future to bring the development of specific tools and methods for reducing medical costs and increasing the quality of life and level of productivity of afflicted Californians. Finally, the discoveries derived from innovative and multidisciplinary research on hES cells by the trained scientists are likely to lead to important new areas of intellectual property that are essential for creating high quality jobs in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries of California.